Python docs disappointing

Carl Banks pavlovevidence at
Sat Aug 1 00:55:19 CEST 2009

On Jul 31, 3:09 pm, kj <no.em... at> wrote:
> In <09bf4f17-40a5-4bad-81d3-1950545b7... at>
> Carl Banks <pavlovevide... at> writes:
> <snip>
> Thanks.  Your remarks at least confirm that my impression was not
> simply due to my noob ignorance: the keyboard-accessible docs are
> indeed as poor as they look.

In the standard library, docstrings (which is what pydoc prints) are
intended to be a brief explanation/reminder of usage, not an
exhaustive description.  Where docstrings are present, they are more
or less adequate for their intended use (although the quality of
docstrings does vary highly throughout the library).

If you are trying to use pydoc in a way not intended, then yes you
would likely find that they are poor when used in that unintended way.

Docstrings take up memory in a running process, so they are not ever
likely to be converted to an exhaustive description.  Your best bet is
to figure out a way to automate lookup in the html documentation.

Carl Banks

More information about the Python-list mailing list